WHEN YOUR LOAD IS HEAVY, TRAVEL LIGHT

28 January 2019

New year, new opportunities! Planning to visit foreign countries during the coming months to establish new, offshore business? If so, knowing the latest airline baggage rules is a big bonus. Check out these tips on flying with luggage.

1. Think new. Squeezing as much as you can into the overhead locker is problematic and decidedly unpleasant; for you and your fellow passengers. Avoid this by simply investing in a new cabin bag that’s in line with international hand luggage rules. This way, you’ll avoid hefty excess cabin baggage fines, and save yourself the hassle of the ‘will or won’t they separate me from my luggage?’

2. Don’t carry on regardless – know your limits. Sounds obvious, because it is! The overhead bins on a small commuter airplane will not accommodate the same size carry-on luggage as a jet. Check with the airline regarding the permissible dimensions of carry-on luggage for your specific flight.

3. Be ruthless! Pack only valuable items and things you can’t live without in a small carry-on bag. These include your passport, travel documents, wallet, cell phone, medications and extra eye glasses if needed. Then ask yourself, what would you need for a day if your luggage did not arrive? For example, an extra set of clothing, shampoo, toothbrush and paste, shaving kit and/or cosmetics.

4. What about liquids? Don’t expect to bring your own bottled water to drink. Not allowed! And if you’re a frequent flyer, you’ll know not to take bulk liquids in your hand luggage. Liquids of 100ml or less are permitted on the basis that all containers you’re carrying can fit into a single transparent and re-usable plastic bag.

5. Become a weight-watcher. Passengers whose luggage exceeds the airline’s weight allowance are charged a fee. Check with your airline to see how heavy your baggage can be without paying more for it to fly with you.

Many people travelling on business to conferences, expos, etc., travel heavy even though they’re on a budget. If this applies to you, it’s suggested that you check with the airline to determine the fee for a second bag and whether you will be charged for overweight luggage.

6. Benefits of being a lightweight. If your trip allows you get away with only hand luggage, great! It’s quicker – no check-in queues, no waiting at carousels, and you get to car hire or taxi first. It’s safer – you get to keep your luggage with you, and no worries about theft or damage in the cargo hold! So there’s less stress.